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Highlights
  • Learn what daily life was like in London when it was a wealthy Roman provincial capital as an expert leads you on a walk revealing the walls, streets and archaeological sites of this period.
  • Delve into the lives of the Tudors and examine the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
  • Most afternoons are yours to explore London’s cultural, historic and architectural treasures on your own.

The City of London began when the Romans founded a settlement on the River Thames in A.D. 43 and named it Londinium. In the two millennia since, rulers and dynasties have come and gone, leaving their mark on the architecture, art and the way of life of Londoners themselves. Join us for a fascinating close-up look at the complex history of one of the world’s most storied cities. We’ll find ancient remains, royal intrigue, iconic landmarks and still leave plenty of time for you to make your own discoveries along the way.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Countries
  • N/A
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Rivers & Seas
  • Thames River

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
Independent London: Roman Walls and Historic Royal Palaces

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

K

Does Not Recommend

Road Scholar Owes My Mom A Huge Apology and Refund. Highly advise AGAINST using them. May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Let me preface this story with some background about myself: I backpacked through most of Europe by myself when I was studying abroad in Ireland. I suffered through horrendous bus rides, getting kicked out of seats on trains, sleeping in questionable hostels, and going weeks without being able to really do laundry. I know how crappy it can be to actually get from one place to another, and how worth it is to suffer through all of that just to lay eyes on something magnificent.

And yet, Road Scholar has, without a doubt, managed to give me the single worst travel experience I've ever had in my entire life, and we didn't even make it off the ground. I would never, ever, EVER recommend them to anyone looking to go anywhere, and as far as I'm concerned, Road Scholar needs to seriously reconsider their travel-making procedures and give my mother a huge apology and refund. (Also, I'm only in my twenties, so I have a lot of years ahead of me to make referrals.)

It all started with Road Scholar not getting us flights. We claimed our spot on a trip to the Lake region in Northern Italy, but no one ever called us back about any travel arrangements. It appeared we were on the trip IN Italy, but no one had bothered to make any arrangements to get us there. My mother called and left messages, emailed people, and the only response we got was that our flight should be booked at some point in early May (when our trip was set to start on May 22). Road Scholar urges people to book their flights through their preferred travel agency, which is who didn't call us back. Road Scholar, to market themselves as educational tourism rather than shallow "I just want to see things" tourism, partners up with different educational institutions, and ours was through Trinity College. The director of the Italian programs called us asking for our travel information, since she didn't have it yet. Interesting news to us. We were then told that we could make travel arrangements of our own (even though we were paying Road Scholar to do it for us) and then inform the program of our travel plans and how we were getting to our hotel. So we started to investigate making our own plans, when someone finally called us back saying that they were taking care of our travel arrangements, and they "didn't know why we hadn't had them made for us already." The director of the program was happy to hear this, because the Lake region of Italy is not as easily accessible as other areas.

We asked for upgraded seats because my mom has had both of her knees replaced, and while that doesn't inhibit her in the slightest from being active, it limits where she can sit on planes. In a cramped regular economy seat with no leg room on an international flight that was going to last 8-10 hours, she wouldn't have been able to walk off the plane because of how her knees would cramp up. But they said they could make the arrangements (which is also advertised on their website) so that was that. We got our itinerary, accommodations, and were all set. We were booked through United and Lufthansa (neither of which either of us will EVER book through again), so I downloaded the United app onto my iPhone so I could check us in and make sure we had mobile copies of our boarding passes in addition to the paper ones my mom printed out. We were all set to fly from Cincinnati to Washington D.C., from D.C. to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt down to Verona where we would be meeting up with the group -- which, by the way, we never received any information regarding where the group was meeting, the transportation to the lake resort, etc. Nothing. Just "after you get there" stuff.

Then this morning, I woke up to a notification from United Airlines (and a text message alert that I had set up) saying that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled due to weather. Obviously I'm not blaming Road Scholar for that. What I am holding Road Scholar accountable for is what happened next: my mom called the Emergency Hotline (which is a recording -- and I HIGHLY recommend that they change this, because when I studied abroad, we had two emergency hotlines, both of which were always answered by real human beings, one for anything happening in the United States, and the other for the program, which was a different number for each location and a direct line to one of the program directors on the ground in the country you were actually in). We left a voicemail, someone named Mike called us back, and he was an absolute asshole. When you book your flight through a travel agency/group travel organization, if anything happens to your flight, it is the THEIR responsibility to take care of it. We were told by Road Scholar, and it's available on their website: "When you book your airfare through Road Scholar, we're there to help you in case of any emergencies." When Mike called us back and we told him that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled, he told us that he couldn't look up any other flights (on both United and any other airlines) for us to potentially get on to get to D.C for our transatlantic flight. Instead, he told us to call United ourselves and to go to the airport and talk to the desk agent. I then ended up on the phone (and on hold) the entire drive to the airport, which resulted in nothing because tons of flights had been cancelled due to airline politics and weather. We finally got to the desk agent at the airport, had a hell of a time getting rebooked on another flight, and weren't able to get the upgraded seats that we paid extra money for. When we called Road Scholar and Mike back to ask if during the course of our day when we would be traveling (and unable to make phone calls) he would call Lufthansa to at least make the airline aware of our need for better seating due to my mother's knee replacements, he was unhelpful and rude, at first attempting to refuse calling on our behalf and finally agreeing to, but only after repeatedly telling us "there's no guarantee of those seats" (something we definitely understood because we're not stupid).

Our rebooked flight wasn't set to leave until 7:45 PM tonight, putting us in Verona at 4:05 PM the next day (4 hours after the group transfer to the hotel), so we returned home instead of waiting around the airport for 12 hours. We got on both United and Lufthansa's websites and discovered that not only had our original itineraries not been removed, we had been double booked, one for a flight out of North Carolina to Munich through Delta, and another out of D.C. (the 7:45 PM flight) which had a 23 hour layover in Munich. A call to Road Scholar resulted in us being told that we had to contact the airlines. My mother was on the phone, talking to either United representatives or Lufthansa representatives, from about 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. We were told we had reservations but no tickets, told we had tickets but couldn't see the numbers, told there were seats available for us to get upgraded to but we would have to try to get the desk agent in D.C. to arrange that for us, told that there was no guarantee we could get those seats, and more. It was incredible the amount of bureaucratic bullshit we had to put up with, especially since each airline wouldn't take any responsibility for us getting the seats we paid for and on a new flight, telling us "we'd have to talk to the other company about that." We finally called Road Scholar to see if there was anything more they could do, who encountered the same mess we already had, and all they did was eventually advise us to go back to the airport (a 45 minute drive) and talk to the desk agent to see IF they could put us in the upgraded seats -- ones we had already paid for and my mom couldn't make the trip without!

Then when asked how they would be getting us to our destination in the Lake region (which is not an easy place to get to, as I looked up the train and bus schedules myself, because - remember - I have tons of experience at this point traveling on the ground across Europe), they wouldn't outright say what our plans would be, which could've been anything from picking us up in the airport in a car, giving us a damn rental to drive ourselves, or simply paying for tickets and expecting us to haul all our luggage from the airport to the shuttle to the train station in Verona, take the 2+ hour train to a town an hour away from our destination, have to catch a bus to the actual town we were supposed to be in, and then walk the rest of the way there. Seeing what all happened, I would bet it would've been the latter, which isn't a problem for someone like me, but is an issue for someone like my mom.

The moral of the story here is that my mom and I shouldn't have had to be on the phone with anyone other than Road Scholar, PERIOD. Seeing as we paid well over $10,000 for this trip, the minute the flight was cancelled, Road Scholar should've called us to let us know that they would be making other arrangements for us to get to our trip in the Lake region of Italy. THEY should've been the ones on the phone, dealing with the airline bureaucrats, working their hardest to get us any combination of flights to get us to Italy in the seats that we paid for. Or, if it really came down to it, they should've made arrangements for us to be on this trip at another point in time, offered us another excursion in its place, or simply given us a refund. Instead, they didn't want to do the jobs that we paid them to do, and we were the ones that had to take time out of our day, which was already scheduled to be a hectic and stressful time because traveling is simply just that, to do Road Scholar's job. They didn't look out for us one single bit and completely and utterly RUINED what was supposed to have been a wonderful trip for me and my mom.

My mother has an adventurous and curious soul and hasn't gotten to go to Europe the way she always wanted to. Since I graduated college, my mother suggested taking a mother-daughter trip. This was supposed to be incredibly special for the both of us, getting to go somewhere new together (I hadn't explored Northern Italy much and that's where we decided to go), learning about the food and the culture, and bonding over all the amazing things we were going to be able to do. I think my mom was even more excited about this trip than I was, voraciously reading all the required/recommended reading, practicing Italian in her room so she could order correctly at restaurants, not giving up when we hit little bumps in the road along the way. Instead, we have been nothing but doubtful at best in the entire planning of this trip, and deeply disappointed and angered at worst. I will never again recommend Road Scholars to anyone looking to go on group trips. Instead, I will steer people away and recommend that they either find a better travel agency, book the trip themselves, or go through Rick Steve's program.

Road Scholar should issue my mother a refund and an apology or risk being sued.
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Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
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Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
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Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival in London & Welcome Dinner, London, England

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Lunch: Excluded.

Afternoon: Hotel check in is at 3:00pm and the concierge will store any luggage. Check in to the hotel, unpack and relax. At 5:30pm, enjoy a welcome meeting for introductions, a review of the programme itinerary and site orientation. PLEASE NOTE - On arrival at the 1st site you will be given an Oyster Card which allows travel on the London Underground and Bus services and covers Zones 1 and 2. Your Group Leader will advise you on how best to use this.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 3: Panoramic London Highlights & The Museum of London, London, England

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture focusing on Londinium (Roman London), founded in about AD50 and the centre of administration for the province of Britannia. Following the lecture the coach departs the hotel for a panoramic overview of London's monuments and most famous sights. Your London expert continues a discussion of the city's history, as well as its architecture throughout the ages.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own to enjoy what you like. Your Group Leader will give you advice on the best places to find food in this bustling city of restaurants and cafes.

Afternoon: Learn about daily life in Roman London, festivals and feast days in honour of the gods as we visit the Museum of London. Following this, you have to option of joining your Study Leader to continue this exploration walk of Roman London: the walls, locations of gates and a selection of sites of Roman buildings. The walk terminates near Underground station to return to the hotel by Underground.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 4: Discover Anglo Saxon London, London, England

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Activity note: Use of public transport and a round trip walk of up to 1 mile and standing up to 2 hours. Optional afternoon walk involves approx. 3 miles. This is a long day involving and evening experience.

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: This morning's lecture focuses on After Rome: Saxon London. Following this we will travel to the world famous British Museum to view Roman and Saxon artifacts, notably the Mildenhall Treasure, the Sutton Hoo Treasure, and Frank's Casket, named after Sir Augustus Frank.

Lunch: Explore restaurants near the British Museum on your own.

Afternoon: Take an optional walk with your Group Leader to explore the City of London and Greenwich, the beginnings of the city you see today.

Dinner: In a Thameside pub.

Evening: Take a River Boat to Greenwich to see the lights and sites of London by night on the river Thames

Day 5: St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: This morning we visit an unmissable feature of the London skyline, St. Paul’s Cathedral, often considered to be Christopher Wren’s masterpiece. The post-fire rebuilding of the Cathedral was officially completed on Christmas Day 1711 at a cost of £1m. The tranquil interior is majestic in its Baroque splendour. Enjoy a lecture from your Study Leader as you make your way through its awe-inspiring galleries.

Lunch: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Afternoon: Take an optional walk with your Study Leader to explore the Southwark area of London, including the famed Millennium Bridge. Free time for independent exploration of the Guildhall area of London near to St Paul's Cathedral.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: The Tower of London, London, England

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Activity note: This trip involves use of public transport and round trip walk of up to 1 mile and standing of up to 2 hours. The optional afternoon walk involves approx. 1 mile.

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: We take the underground to the Tower of London for an on site lecture and field trip. Visit the Crown Jewels and the White Tower, which was completed in 1100, and now houses an exhibition of armour and a range of fascinating artifacts connected with the history of the Tower and the Monarchy.

Lunch: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Afternoon: For those who wish to remain with the Study Leader, continue with walk round the walls and the medieval palace as the study leader gives insights into the history of this iconic fortress. Take a Yeoman Warder tour.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Discover Hampton Court Palace, London, England

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Activity note: This trip involves use of public transport and round trip walk of up to 1 mile and standing of up to 2 hours. The optional afternoon walk involves approx. 1 mile.

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: On-site lecture on the Tudors and Stuarts. Led by your local expert, take public transport to discover the History of Hampton Court Palace and explore the wonders of this majestic building, and the stories behind them. Enjoy Henry VIII's Apartments and the display in the Council Chamber. Take a walk through the Tudor Kitchens, visit William III's Apartments and discover the Georgian Private Apartments.

Lunch: Excluded. Food may be purchased in the Hampton Court Cafe or Privy Kitchen.

Afternoon: Continue to the Chapel Royal and view the "Truimph of Cezar" by Mantegna. Take public transport back to central London and take some more time to explore this fascinating city.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 8: Westminster Abbey, London, England

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Activity note: This trip involves use of public transport and round trip walk of up to 1 mile and standing of up to 2 hours. The optional afternoon walk involves approx. 1 mile.

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture on Georgian to Present Day London, before hopping aboard the underground and visiting Westminster Abbey. Discover over a thousand years of history where Benedictine Monks first came in the middle of the tenth century establishing a tradition of daily worship, where, some of the most significant people in the nation’s history have been buried and where numerous royal occasions took place including sixteen royal weddings and every Coronation since 1066.

Lunch: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Afternoon: Continue with your Study Leader with a walk through Westminster, or use your weekly public transport pass to explore more of London.

Dinner: Farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: Program Concludes, London, England

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Independent departures for return flights to North America. Some early transfers may leave before breakfast which ends at 10:00am. Your Group Leader will give you helpful information about getting to the airport and will be able to assist you with arrangements if needed.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,149

Price Per Day:

$ 239 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 7 nights of accommodations
  • 6 expert-led lectures
  • 13 expert-led field trips
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

6 Breakfasts and  3 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 24
Accomodations

Millennium Gloucester Hotel: 7 nights  London

A modern hotel in fashionalbe Kensington, next to Gloucester Road underground station.

Start City
London
End City
London

Trip ID#: IndLonRoa

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